Walking the Ancient Trails of Cappadocia - Premium Adventure Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures, Premium Adventures
Premium Adventures, Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

9 Days Flight Inclusive
9 Days Land only
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview


Cappadocia’s world-famous scenery and cultural history is best discovered on foot. And the region will thrill you with its unique landscape of rock towers, caves and valleys. Following ancient volcanic eruptions, the region was covered with a blanket of soft ‘tufa’ rock that is easily eroded by wind and water. It has been inhabited for millennia, with many civilisations carving cave dwellings and churches into the towers and hillsides. In recent times local entrepreneurs have used the same principle to create some incredible and unique hotels, one of which is a highlight of our experience.

Our programme of walks and activities will show you the best of the area, as well as lesser-known routes and experiences. This trip is recommended to those who like exploring in style, and don’t settle with the ordinary.

At a Glance

  • 8 nights premium hotels at central locations
  • 5 days leisurely/moderate centre-based walking
  • Travel by internal flights and air-conditioned minibus

Trip Highlights

  • A six-night stay at the fabulous Yunak Evleri cave hotel in the heart of Cappadocia
  • A unique programme of walks and activities to discover the region’s history valleys rock towers and cave dwellings
  • Iconic balloon ride, pre-booked
  • An introduction to historic Istanbul, from centrally located hotels

Is This Trip for You?

Activity Level 2: Leisurely/Moderate

On this trip we have 5 days centre based walking with vehicle support taking us to and from each walk. All the walking is on undulating trails at low altitude. The terrain will include footpaths which can be rocky and loose in places with sloped ascents and descents. The walks take about 2-3 hours. A reasonable level of fitness is required.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
Min group size:
Max group size:


TTF map

Land Only

Start City:
End City:

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrival in Istanbul

    Welcome to Turkey! Today you arrive in Istanbul, one of the most important and inspiringly beautiful cities of the world’s history. We have no activities scheduled for today, so you are free to arrive anytime.

    Premium accommodation: Kent Hotel, Istanbul (4 star)

  • Day 2

    Morning Calligraphy lesson; fly to Kayseri

    We start our Turkish experience with a calligraphy lesson where we learn the secrets of creating rich patterns on handmade marble paper and experience the sensuous flow of Ottoman calligraphy in the company of our highly skilled artist-craftsman. Participation enables the school to be able to have the funds to continue supporting this retention of this ancient skill in the community.

    For lunch we have arranged a fabulous introduction to Turkish food, with a meal of Ottoman cuisine at the Matbah restaurant. Centrally located, with excellent views of the city of Istanbul.

    Late afternoon we transfer to the airport for our 1h 15m flight to Kayseri.

    Premium accommodation: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (4 star)

    Meals included:
  • Day 3

    Optional balloon ride; visit to the Open-Air Museum of Goreme; walk through the colourful Rose Valley

    This morning is our chance to take part in Cappadocia’s most iconic activity – an early morning hot air balloon ride. We have pre-booked slots for each group member, but to allow for possible weather-related delays or even cancellations, will arrange for final confirmation and payment through your leader for those that wish to take part.

    It's an early start and a short transfer, but the ride lasts for approximately 1h 15m, and is completed with a cold glass of champagne.

    After late breakfast, we continue our programme for the day. We start with a gentle climb up through the tunnels of Uchisar rock for a striking panoramic view, then continue to the extraordinary Goreme Open Air Museum to see the painted churches and troglodytic monastic dwellings. This afternoon we drive to the rabbit warren-like village of old Cavusin and walk through the colourful Rose Valley with its rock-cut churches, viewpoints, and stunning vistas to end at Sunset Point.

    Premium accommodation: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (4 star)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 5 km / 3.1 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 4

    Tour of Pigeon Valley; explore the cellars at Kaymakli Underground City; cooking class experience

    We set off on foot along the scenic Pigeon Valley trail walking downhills from Uchisar to Goreme. Pigeon valley is named after the many dove cotes that have been carved into the dwellings. From Goreme, we will drive to Kaymakli to explore the cellars, stables and houses of this underground city, before continuing on to the beautiful Soganli Valley for a taste of off the beaten track Cappadocia.

    For lunch, we have arranged a visit to a local family for a cooking experience. This activity offers a lovely opportunity to discover the local home-cooked food and way of life, in a shared experience. The leader will be on hand to help with translations and demonstrations. We will return to our hotel in the mid-afternoon.

    Premium accommodation: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (4 star)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 4 km / 2.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 5

    Walk through White Valley; discover Love Valley; afternoon at leisure

    Today we walk through the White Valley. It is a little more challenging than the other hikes, but it is one of our favourites. From Uchisar, we descend into a valley of smooth snow-white rock faces and follow an uneven riverbed along the valley floor before entering Love Valley with its archetypal Cappadocia views and fairy chimneys. The original name of this valley is ‘Valley of the Vines’ but it’s not hard to work out why it has been nick-named Love Valley! After lunch, the afternoon will be at leisure.

    Premium accommodation: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (4 star)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 5 km / 3.1 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 6

    Visit the former monastic complex of Zelve; explore Sword and Red Valleys; optional Jeep Safari; late afternoon Whirling Dervishes performance

    After breakfast we explore the former monastic complex of Zelve, then we drive on to Pasabagi – one of Cappadocia’s most famous valleys.

    For our walk, we drive to Goreme to begin our walk through the Sword and Red Valleys to the rock-hewn Kizlar Kalesi monastery. The path takes us through more jaw-dropping scenery, past the giant shards of rock that give Sword Valley its name, and on to the richly coloured rock formations that make Red Valley so remarkable.

    After lunch, there is an option to join a Jeep Safari experience to take you a little further afield and to some hidden corners as the drivers take you through narrow canyons and to viewpoints.

    In the late afternoon, we visit the historical Saruhan Caravanserai to see the Sema Ritual performed by Whirling Dervishes. This traditional performance has a deep cultural significance in Turkey and is a spectacular, spiritual and sometimes moving experience. The evening is free to make your own choice of dinner venue.

    Premium accommodation: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (4 star)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 4 km / 2.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 7

    Day tour to Ihlara Valley; visit to the famous town of Avanos

    After breakfast, we start our day tour to Ihlara Valley and one of Cappadocia’s prettiest trails. With a length of 14 kilometres, the depth reaching up to 120 meters, it is the largest historically inhabited canyon in the world. Ihlara has hundreds of churches and shelters made by the easy excavation of the rocks surrounding the valley as well as the classic fairy chimneys. We finish with a visit to Selime Cathedral when we exit the valley.

    The last stop of today’s tour is Avanos, the famous town of Cappadocia that was established by the Hittites on the riverbanks of Halys River. Making use of the red clay that is obtained from the shores of this famous river, the Hittites created outstanding examples of pottery ware and used potters’ wheels as early as 2nd millennia BC. We will visit one of the studios of a pottery artist of Cappadocia and watch the interactive presentation of creating masterpieces of pottery and ceramics.

    Farewell Dinner at Elai restaurant, set near the stone-carved Uçhisar Castle, all of the tables overlook the green valleys. 

    Premium accommodation: Yunak Elveri cave hotel, Cappadocia (4 star)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 4.5 km / 2.8 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 8

    Fly to Istanbul; optional Turkish Bath experience

    This morning we will be transferred to the airport for our flight to Istanbul. We arrive in Istanbul and transfer to our central hotel. There will be an option for a Turkish Bath experience at the historical and the luxurious 16th century Hurrem Sultan Hamam. 

    For those who wish to explore the more classic sights of Istanbul, or leader will offer walking maps and suggestions, or can help you pre-book some guided experiences.

    Farewell Dinner at Hamdi Restaurant, famous for its traditional southeastern kebabs and is the place to go for this famous Turkish dish. The popular restaurant is situated in the historic Eminönü district (West of Sultanahmet) and offers stunning views over the Golden Horn.

    Premium accommodation: Oran Hotel, Istanbul (4 star)

    Meals included:
  • Day 9

    End Istanbul

    After breakfast we say our goodbyes.

    Meals included:


Premium Hotels

Yunak Houses Cave Hotel


Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Urgup, 6 nights


Yunak Houses Cave Hotel


  • A unique combination of 10 cave houses with a total of 120 private cave rooms.
  • A labyrinth of narrow passageways and curved stone stairways lead to the rooms tastefully decorated in warm traditional style.
  • The decor is elegant and personalized with beautiful hand-crafted furnishings and antiques.
  • All rooms have private patios overlooking the Turkish Mesa.
  • Facilities include pool, spa and restaurant. 


Kent Hotel (4 star), Istanbul, 1 night


Kent Hotel


  • Premium accommodation just a 10-minute walk from the Grand Bazaar in old Istanbul.
  • Located in the Beyazıt area, one of the oldest and most colourful quarters of Istanbul.
  • Decorated with soothing colours, all rooms are fi tted with parquet fl ooring, a Turkish rug and a cosy sitting area.


Oran Hotel (4 star), Istanbul, 1 night


Oran Hotel


  • Premium hotel located in the Laleli neighbourhood, close to plenty of traditional restaurants and shopping opportunities.
  • There are Turkish bath facilities including sauna and hammam in the hotel.
  • There is also a well-equipped fitness centre.


Oran Hotel


The accommodation shown has been booked and agreed in advance, however we may need to make changes to a property of similar or higher standard after you have booked. While we will endeavour to inform you of any changes in advance which could, on rare occasions, be at late notice.


Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £550.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners included.

Typical Meals:

Breakfast: typically comprising a selection of tea, coffee, bread, butter, jam, cheese, olives, cucumber, tomatoes and yoghurt.

Lunch and dinner: a combination of set menus and buffet arrangements with several freshly cooked dishes to choose from. Kebabs are of course to be found everywhere.

Most people find that Turkish cuisine is one of the most varied in the world and there is usually something to please everyone. Vegetarians will generally find themselves well catered for as many Turkish dishes are based on vegetables and dairy products.

Please note that in Turkey the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialized dietary items from home.

Drinks are not included with meals (except breakfast) as a wide variety is normally available and this allows you greater choice. Mineral water, excellent fruit juices, beer and wine are generally readily available at about half to three-quarters of the UK price, depending on locality. Tea (usually taken in small glasses) is cheap, and so is Turkish coffee (strong, taken in small cups). European instant coffee and spirits can be more expensive.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Daytime temperatures in Cappadocia will range from 22-30 degrees in summer at low altitudes. Early mornings may be cooler later in the season. Summers are usually dry, however, rain is possible at any time and the odd storm cannot be ruled out.

Weather Charts

Ankara, Turkey

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Turkish Airlines (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed
until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Istanbul

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Istanbul in the evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

Location start:
Location end:

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Sun hat, sunglasses and sun cream
  • Lightweight clothing
  • Waterproofs
  • Waterbottle
  • Boots with good ankle support
  • Daypack

At the time of writing the standard weight limit for hold baggage on the recommended international carrier for this trip is 20kg. We recommend packing only one piece of checked baggage. As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure.

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles

Practical Information



All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.



From 2 March 2020, nationals of Great Britain, the European Union Schengen area, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland travelling to Turkey for tourist or business purposes will no longer need a visa for visits of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. If you’re travelling before 2 March, you will still need a visa.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.



There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit:

The risk of malaria on this trip is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Turkey's Timezone:
Europe/Istanbul +03 (GMT +03:00)


Turkey's Electricity:

Standard European Adapter required.


Turkey's Currency

The national currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRL), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (September 2019) of approximately 7.1 to the GBP, 5.7 to the USD, 4.3 to the CAD, 6.3 to the EUR, 3.9 to the AUD and 3.6 to the NZD.

There are no restrictions on the import of Turkish currency, though local exchange rates are invariably better than those in the UK. The exchange does fluctuate quite considerably, so it is best to check just before departure.

ATM Availability

We recommend that you do not bring travellers cheques. It is best to use a mixture of Sterling cash and ATMs. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in shops for larger purchases. Turkey has a good network of cash machines in built up areas, which can be used to get advances in lira. It should be noted that Scottish notes are not accepted in Turkey.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You should allow £10 - £20 (approx. US$13-US$26) for each dinner not included. Local Turkish restaurants can be cheap and very good, 'tourist' restaurants are good but more expensive. Please allow extra for drinks.


Optional Excursions 

Hot air balloon rides can be pre-booked at the time of booking the tour, depending on weather conditions. EUR 200 per person between 01st April to 31st August and EUR 220 per person between 01st September to 30th November.

Turkish bath experience can be booked locally for EUR 55 per person.

Jeep safari experience can be booked locally for EU80 per jeep for up to 4 people.


On all Exodus Premium Adventures tipping for any local support staff is included, and will normally be taken care of via your tour leader (or in some cases through our local agent). So need no for any tipping kitty contributions, or to give your own tips during the trip.

Our ‘included tips’ will normally drivers, local specialist guides, certain hotel staff, and serving staff for included meals. Amounts will be in line with the local standard. Of course, if you wish to make a further tip for some extra special service you may do so.

Tips for the Tour Leader are not included. Whether to tip at all and the amount is entirely at your own discretion, but as a starting point we suggest around EUR15 -20 per person per week. 


Responsible Tourism

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips which improve life for the people and places we visit, and look after the planet we explore. Find out more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here, and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:


How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • The use of a local guide means our customers will be well informed about local traditions, and cultural and social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally-owned hotels and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally produced food and support of other local enterprise.
  • Participation on the calligraphy course enables the school be able to have the funds to continue supporting this retention of this ancient skill in the community.
  • Participation in the cooking experience gives a direct benefit to the local economy and enables the hosts and guests to better understand one another’s cultures.


How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels.
  • By travelling in a small group, led by a local guide, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices with regard to working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and instead providing refills for re-usable bottles.


How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.


Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.
  • Take the train: Consider taking the train to this trip. Not only will it significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your holiday vs. flying, it also extends your adventure! Read more about which train journeys we can book, or how to book your own, here.

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.


Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.



The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

Please note, although this trip doesn’t visit any FCDO no-go areas, it does visit a region close to an area where the advice is not to travel. If joining this trip, or if planning any additional travel pre or post tour in the area, you should ensure you visit their website to familiarise yourself with the advice. Any independent travel to these areas is entirely at your own risk and is likely not to be covered by your insurance.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.


These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.